Buying a home can be an intimidating and stressful process. We’ve compiled a list of recommendations for anyone thinking about jumping into the housing market.

First Timer
  1. Be definitive about buying. With ownership comes the added responsibility of taking care of your investment. Be sure you’re ready for this type of responsibility.
  2. Get qualified for a mortgage. It’s important to know exactly what you can qualify to buy and what you’re comfortable borrowing. This will set a clear path for your next move.
  3. Become educated. While doing your research on neighbourhoods and builders, also consider your needs now and in the future. The size of home, your lifestyle wants and needs and your ideal location are all important criteria to identify.
  4. Hire a real estate agent who is qualified. They will help guide you to finding your perfect home and also negotiate on your behalf to get you the best possible deal.
  5. Know all of the hidden costs such as:
    • Land transfer tax
    • Bank appraisal fee
    • Mortgage broker fee
    • Legal fees
    • Mortgage insurance fee
  6. Don’t rush into anything, but also don’t drag your feet. After doing all the research necessary, if you feel the move is the right one, make it.
Moving Up
  1. To sell or buy first. That’s a good question, one that depends on different circumstances. Take the time to make an educated decision about what makes the most sense for you.  Much of your decision will have to do with your personal financial situation combined with the current market conditions in your neighbourhood.  Also, you should consider the type and availability of the  home you are looking for.
  2. Obtain pre-approval for a new mortgage. If another mortgage is required for your newer or bigger home, being pre-approved ensures that you are qualified to go through with your plans.
  3. Calculate your estimated proceeds to help determine the cost of your new home:
    • Find out what your present house is worth
    • Find out if and what the costs are to discharge your present mortgage
    • Deduct your mortgage payoff from your home’s fair market value
    • Estimate what the costs will be to sell your house
    • Determine your costs to acquire your new home

    This should give you an estimate of the proceeds that you will be paid at closing.

  4. Get your present home ready for sale. Make any repairs that you deem necessary (unless it is a fixer-upper) so that potential buyers will not have reason to submit a low, undesirable offer.
  5. Hire a qualified real estate agent to sell your home. The assistance of a real estate agent who will negotiate on your behalf is critical in ensuring that you get the best possible price.
Downsizing
  1. Be sure you’re ready to downsize by answering some simple questions: Are you ready to replace your family home with a smaller home? Are your children now living on their own, married or moved away to attend school? Are you tired of the maintenance and associated expenses with the upkeep of your home and would rather use that time to travel and enjoy all of your life’s accomplishments?
  2. Determine what location and features are important to you. It’s time to figure out where you want to move to based on your health and lifestyle.
  3. Meet with your financial planner. This is a great opportunity to review your financial plans and discuss what you can do to reduce your tax burden.
  4. Get your family involved. Their support and welcomed advice will help you make smart decisions for your next move.
  5. Organize your belongings and make your move. It’s time to get tough on what stays and what goes. 
Investing
  1. Determine your investment strategy. Are you looking for something undervalued? Do you want to hold onto it, and then flip it in the coming months? Are you willing to deal with a renter? If so, the renter will ideally pay your mortgage and give you some profit in the long run.
  2. Hire a real estate agent who is investment-focused. Find a real estate agent who can tell you the basic numbers you’ll need on a property to make it work to your advantage. 
  3. Get qualified for a mortgage by speaking with your bank or a mortgage specialist. Knowing exactly what you can qualify to buy will set a clear path for your next move.
  4. Become educated. Do your research on the future potential of the neighborhoods you’re interested in. Are there future developments planned for the area? What are the recent sale prices in the area – lowest and highest? What are the comparable rents? What kind of people live here?
  5. Have an exit strategy. In case you cannot sell your investment right away or if you are having a hard time finding a tenant, determine your Plan B. That being said, you shouldn’t be in this position if you’ve done your research

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* Calculated monthly payments are approximate. Please consult with a mortgage specialist for accurate calculations.